Most employers are required to follow the statutory requirements contained in the Uniform Peace Officers’ Disciplinary Act (“UPODA”) when it comes to discipline for police officers. All police officers should be aware of their rights under the Act:

Whenever an officer is the subject of a formal interrogation the employer is required to provide the following rights pursuant to UPODA:

1) The officer shall be informed in writing of the nature of the investigation. This information should be sufficient to reasonably apprise the officer of the allegations that are being investigated.

2) The interrogation should be at a reasonable time, of a reasonable duration and shall not subject the officer to professional or personal abuse, or offensive language.

3) A complete record of any interrogation is required to be made and made available to the officer under investigation without charge and without any undue delay. The record can be electronically recorded.

4) The officer has a right to legal counsel and may request counsel at any time before or during the interrogation. Once requested the employer must provide reasonable time and opportunity for the officer to obtain counsel.

5) No officer is required to take a polygraph test or any other test questioning by means of a chemical substance.

6) UPODA does not apply to officers charged with a criminal offense.

7) Anyone filing a complaint against a sworn peace officer must have the complaint supported by a sworn affidavit.

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